Civil engineers confront a variety of challenges in their careers, including urban redevelopment, pollution, increased energy needs and traffic congestion. To enter the field of civil engineering, recent graduates and other potential civil engineers must be prepared to answer common job interview questions, which typically address career motivation, experience, and skills. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, as of April 2010, entry level civil engineers earn an average annual salary of roughly $52,000.
What Skills and Past Experiences Have Prepared You to Be a Civil Engineer?
When employers ask potential entry-level civil engineers questions about experience, candidates with limited experience need not fret. Employers do not expect recent graduates to have already logged years in the working world. Instead, candidates can emphasize the coursework and internship experiences that would be valuable to a career in civil engineering. For example, in addition to naming specific engineering classes, those with study abroad or international work experience can set themselves apart by highlighting language skills, adaptability and other skill sets that they gained during their time abroad.
Why Do You Want to Be a Civil Engineer?
While it is best to remain professional throughout the interview process, candidates can show some of their personality by viewing the interview process more like a conversation than an interrogation. Rather than giving single-sentence replies to questions, it is best to give thorough answers that demonstrate a passion for civil engineering. In addition to being genuinely excited about civil engineering as a field, candidates can let interviewers know why the specific position they are interested in would be a good match for their skills and personality.
Why Do You Want to Work for This Company?
Interviewers may also ask candidates why they are interested in working with a particular company and why the specific position and company they are interested in would be a good match for their skills and personality. Researching the company before the interview not only helps a candidate make a good impression during an interview, it also provides more information about the potential employer. Knowing a company’s goals, accomplishments and current projects can also put a candidate in a better position for asking follow up questions during an interview. Citing specific examples of a company’s past environmentally conscious projects, for example, a candidate could then ask the interviewer how the company plans on addressing sustainability in the future.
When Have You Successfully Worked With a Team on a Project?
Entry-level civil engineers may have limited professional experience, but for employers, it is important that they know how to work on a team. Teamwork is a critical aspect of civil engineering, as projects typically require collaboration with a team, making communication and the ability to work well with others vital.
2016 Salary Information for Nuclear Engineers
Nuclear engineers earned a median annual salary of $102,220 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, nuclear engineers earned a 25th percentile salary of $82,770, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $124,420, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 17,700 people were employed in the U.S. as nuclear engineers.